There are a million different scenarios that could arise after this weekend and, per usual, someone will feel like they got left out. That could be all too true for one of the biggest college football programs in the land: Ohio State (“OSU”) and Alabama (“Bama”).

The SEC title game winner is in. The ACC title game winner is in. The Big 12 will get a representative in the playoff if Oklahoma wins but probably won’t if TCU and OSU wins – committee would probably put the SEC winner, ACC winner, Big Ten winner, and Bama in before TCU in that circumstance.

That’s not the most likely scenario, though.

Most likely, Georgia, Clemson and Oklahoma will win, and those 3 teams will be locks for the playoff.  So if OSU beats Wisconsin, which they are favored to do by 6.5 point, then the committee has a decision to make: OSU or Bama.

I am sticking with my Ohio roots and calling for the Buckeyes. Here’s why:

Bama

Positives:

  • Won almost every game in a blow out
  • Looks good on the eye test
  • “Big wins” are against LSU and Mississippi State (this is kind of a negative)
  • If they get in, they could win the whole thing
  • Only loss was on the road in a rivalry game, one of the fiercest in all of college football

Negatives:

  • Weak schedule. Doesn’t help that Florida State was bad this year and Bama only played 8 conference games
  • SEC is weak compared to previous years
  • “Big wins” are less than stellar
  • Lost to Auburn by two scores
  • Lost last game of the season
  • Not a conference winner

OSU

Positives:

  • If they beat Wisconsin, they beat an undefeated team to win the Big Ten conference
  • Beat a then #2 Penn State in a thrilling, primetime game
  • Crushed a good Michigan State team
  • Tougher schedule than Alabama
  • Tradition of winning and a great traveling fan base (yes, Bama has this, too, and it’s secretly a factor considered, whether they admit it or not. Ratings, baby!)

Negatives:

  • OSU got crushed by Iowa and got beat pretty good by Oklahoma
  • 2 losses

On balance, it’s a close call, but OSU’s big wins, conference title, and tougher schedule take the cake for the Buckeyes. Obviously, they have to beat Wisconsin or this is all a moot point.

Bama needs to schedule tougher out of conference games if they want to jump a comparable team with a conference championship, especially if Bama is on the couch during conference championship weekend. Bama just didn’t really accomplish anything fantastic this year. If OSU wins the Big Ten, they did.

O-H-I-O

By: Mick Joseph of Treedistrictbooks.com

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